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No punishment for struggling Vettel

NEWS STORY
15/03/2014

Sebastian Vettel has escaped penalty after being summoned by the Race Director following today's qualifying session.

Vettel was eliminated during the second phase of the session, the first time since Belgium 2013 when the he has not featured in the top ten shoot-out, after a software problem hindered his performance. Updated software was loaded on to his car ahead of final practice which was designed to improve the drivability of his Renault engine but which ultimately caused more problems than it solved.

"This morning was still okay but definitely a step down," explained the German. "When it started to rain I was struggling a lot with driveability and it made my life pretty difficult.

"We programmed it to be like yesterday, if not a little better," he continued. "I struggled a lot when getting on the power, so driveability was down."

Life was made even harder for the 26-year-old when Kimi Raikkonen spun in the closing moments of Q2. Without a time good enough to make it through to Q3 the yellow flag zone around Raikkonen's stricken Ferrari made it almost inevitable the reigning champion faced an early exit.

But improve his time he did, fairly according to the Race Director who investigated the lap, though it was only good enough for thirteenth on the grid. However, Vettel will ultimately line up twelfth on the grid tomorrow courtesy of Valtteri Bottas' gearbox penalty.

Check out our Qualifying gallery, here.

Mat Coch

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